Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet

Sarah travelled the globe to research her new book. In Consumed she reports on the efforts of people—in cities and on farms, from New York to rural India—who are putting together a new way of feeding the world that is resilient to the shocks that climate change is throwing our way. Sarah tells the untold stories of this massive but little known global social movement that is changing all aspects of food. With her eye on the year 2050, Sarah lays out the decade by decade targets we must meet so that by mid-century we can feed ourselves in an ever increasingly turbulent world.

Sarah was interviewed by The New York Times about finding good food on the road when researching Consumed and the book was covered by publications including Grist and Mother Jones.

In the United States, Consumed won a Choice Magazine (American Library Association) CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award!

Consumed was published by the University of Chicago Press in the United States, the UK, Australia and New Zealand and in Canada by Harper Collins.

– Michael Pollan, @michaelpollan

“A terrific new book.”

“If our industrial food system leaves you feeling a little queasy, Sarah Elton has just the medicine you need: a powerfully hopeful account of the gathering efforts to take down our ‘too-big-to-fail’ agribusiness empire and replace it with something that makes sense for our planet and our communities!”

Bill McKibbben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist

“An ambitious and optimistic book, that takes on the food sustainability issues with clarity and skill, and warm understanding too. Through the stories and situations of farmers in India, China, France, and North America, as well as through discussions with scientists, we come to understand how local farming can indeed feed the world. A must-have for anyone interested in food.”

Naomi Duguid, author of Burma: Rivers of Flavor and co-author of Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet

“For anyone who gives thought to what we consume at our meal tables, this book will take you on a heart-warming trip around the world and return you home enlightened, informed and inspired. A winning argument for the sustainable food movement.”

Gill Deacon, author of There’s Lead in Your Lipstick and Green for Life

“Sarah Elton has written a delectable and entertaining guide to the new food revolution. How will we feed the planet’s hungry billions in the decades to come? The failed experiment of more pesticides and plastic foods is not the answer. Elton travels from rural India, to the mountains of France to that most surprising epicenter of modern agriculture—downtown Detroit—to weave a hopeful story of the global reconnection with the food that sustains us. A must-read for anyone who eats!”

Rick Smith, co-author of Slow Death by Rubber Duck 

And from the reviews:

Times Literary Supplement

“The optimism that Sarah Elton shows about feeding the growing population of the world—which she anticipates will reach 9 billion by 2050—shines forth from every page of Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet.”

  1. M. Monks, University of Idaho | Choice

“Meticulously researched and carefully written. . . . An enlightening and worthy read. Highly recommended.”